Little Kids—
big symptoms

What You Need When They Need You


When your kids get sick, it can be a rough couple of days—for both of you. We’ve compiled some of the most relevant information that you’ll need for when your little one feels under the weather.

Fever 101


Your child’s normal body temperature is about 98.6°F—99.4°F (when measured orally) with slight variations throughout the day.

A “low fever” is generally accepted to be below 102°F, moderate is 102°F-104°F, and a high fever is 104°F and above.

A fever is one of the ways your child’s body responds to and fights an infection. A fever isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, for infants and babies younger than 3 months old, even a slight fever can be dangerous. Call your pediatrician right away.

If your child is older than 1-2 years of age and has a fever above 102°F, you can treat them with the appropriate children’s dose of acetaminophen.Many cough and cold medicines include acetaminophen, so make sure to read labels thoroughly if you’ve already given them acetaminophen. For more important fever treatment tips, you can read this article from the Food and Drug Administration.

Never give children aspirin. While it’s safe for adults, aspirin could lead to Reye’s syndrome in children, a rare disorder that can be fatal.

Feel better tips


While over-the-counter medicines help, there are still plenty of other things you can do to help your child feel better.

Get them to drink water—or juice, or both. Liquids can help with their congestion and it will keep them hydrated. Plus, they’re easier to get down than solid food if they’re suffering from things like sore throat or vomiting.

Get them to sleep. Rest is always a good idea when your child is feeling run down. If you’re wondering if they should stay home, click here for some helpful tips.

Moisturize their nasal passageways. Using a humidifier or cool mist vaporizer could help with their congestion. You can also try saline nasal drops.

Soothe their sore throat. Have them eat ice chips or ice pops to cool their burning throat. While ice cream doesn’t create more mucus, it can make mucus feel thicker. So you may want to skip the triple chocolate chunk just in case.

Calm their cough. A humidifier and a steamy shower are your coughing child’s best friend right now. (But make sure they still cough at least a little. Coughing can help remove lodged mucus.)

Off-limits medication


There are some medications that aren’t safe for your child to use.

Aspirin, which is a pain reliever, shouldn’t be given to children under the age of 18. For Mucinex products that include a pain reliever, only acetaminophen is used.

Children 4 years old and younger should not use decongestants. Some Children’s Mucinex® products use phenylephrine, which is a nasal decongestant. These products’ packaging (Drug Facts Label) points out that children under 4 shouldn’t take this medicine.

For children 4 years and under, you can help relieve their nasal decongestion with a rubber suction bulb, saline nasal drips or a cool-mist or humidifying vaporizer.

It’s important to review each product’s dosage, directions and drug facts before you give it to your children. You can always talk to your child’s pediatrician, too, if you have any concerns about giving your child a certain medicine.

When you’re thinking about
keeping them home


It’s never easy to tell when to keep your child home. There are a few guidelines that may help, though.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a fever should be gone for at least 24 hours (without the help of a medication like acetaminophen) before heading back to school.

If your child has other symptoms, like vomiting, diarrhea, or nausea, a sick day is a good call and maybe even a visit to their pediatrician too.

Other issues like sore throat usually need time off, as well as a visit to a pediatrician before they can head back to class. Most schools and day care centers have specific rules about these issues, so consider checking in with them when making your decision.

Most of these things you probably already knew. So what do you do when your child is at that in-between stage? It often comes down to instinct. If it seems like your child is well enough to partake in school activities, then he or she is probably good to go.

Does chicken noodle soup really help?


You always associate chicken soup with a sick day—and for a good reason. Your mother (and her mother before her) knew what she was doing.

If your little one is battling the flu or a cold, chicken soup can help in a few ways. It may support the body’s immune response, provide hydration and replenish electrolytes. Hydration and electrolyte replenishment are especially important if your child has been suffering from diarrhea and/or vomiting.

It can also help to moisten the mucus that has dried and gotten stuck in your child’s body. Moistened mucus is easier to clear away, so your child’s body can start to get rid of it.

How Mucinex® products can help


Mucinex® has a line of children’s products that may be able to address your child’s symptoms. Browse all of our children’s products here to see which one is best for your little one.

You can always take advantage of the Find My Mucinex tool. Enter in all your child’s symptoms and it will tell you the best Mucinex product to help relieve them.

Some of these medicines may only be available behind your pharmacist’s counter. Some of these medicines also carry risks if abused. If you’re a parent, learn more about medicine abuse and how to combat it.

Use as directed.

Which Mucinex® product is right for me?

See below for products that will help your cough. Use as directed.

Also check out the Find My Mucinex tool. You can enter other symptoms you're suffering from and find the best Mucinex® match.


When Should I Call the Pediatrician?

A lot of times your child’s symptoms will clear up with rest, hydration and home treatment. But some symptoms are serious enough that they require help from a doctor.

Always read the Children’s Mucinex® product labeling for complete warnings and information for each product.

But you know your child best. If you feel like something is wrong, call your child’s pediatrician.

acetaminophen overdose

If you think you're overdosing on acetaminophen or any other medication, seek emergency care or call your local poison control center at 800-222-1222.

If you can, try to remember the product(s) you took and its strength. This information will help your doctor.


What is mucus doing in there?

Mucus is actually important to our overall health; learn why you need that sticky stuff.